• Boots,  Highheels

    The best is yet to come

    What sounds like a phrase of a fortune cookie, could actually have more impact in your life than you’d think. The headline displays a certain belief towards life which is rooted in an underlying narrative that everyone defines for him/herself. Have you ever heard sentences like “If I just had xy, then I could do/buy/move …”, “I cannot do x because …” or “If my boss/team/client wasn’t that way, then …”. Those narratives attribute responsibility away from the speaker towards other people or circumstances. In short: “If you cannot swim, it’s due to the lousy swimwear.” And although there might be tough life circumstances, attributing all your ‘why nots’ to…

  • Boots,  Highheels,  Sneakers

    This crisis kills my empathy

    Working in virtual teams has been around for years in project management and consulting. But the extend in which we now work remotely is new. And this is why project leads and management members in consulting need to adapt their leadership style accordingly. Before the pandemic, a good portion of the day was already spent at the laptop and in calls. But there were breaks to chat with colleagues over a cup of coffee. Often these talks were work-unrelated and even with people who weren’t on the same project. We just bumped into them by accident when leaving our desk. But in home office or people-reduced corporate offices, we don’t…

  • Boots,  Highheels

    What social work on sunday morning at 6am taught me

    It is early sunday morning. Cold. Dark. Rainy. The group of people meets to work together for a few hours for a social cause. ‘How is the energy level’, the leader of the group asks and smiles into the tired faces. You can call a 5 on a 10 scale a good average. One person puts it quite nicely: “Now I am a 5, put I am here because I know that at the end of our session, I will be a 10.” Four hours and a lot of work later, the group gathers for the wrap up. Everyone smiles and is happy. The work ran smoothly, there was time…

  • Highheels

    Why focussing on your people will bring your business from good to great

    „A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected“, is commonly quoted. In business, this principle of human behavior can bring companies, projects and teams from good to great. And as business leaders thirst for greatness, they are looking for techniques of how to trigger the apprecition-button of employees in order to get the result. But human beings only feel appreciated when they sense it is about them as an individual. We have quite precise antennas to determine whether someone likes us as an individual or only the contribution we can bring to the P&L. Therefore, it is true that people who feel appreciated will contribute…

  • Highheels

    Why leadership is lacking on partner level

    It is obvious: the same type of people become partner in a consulting firm or enter the C-level in big companies. ‘Type’ refers mainly to behaviour and habitus, but it is very often accompanied with specific gender, age, skin colour, academic background etc.. The result of the common career paths in the western hemisphere is so homogeneous that it is obvious that there are patterns at work which are very forceful even if they are not used with intent. Most people of that specific leadership group don’t like that thought. They are convinced that they only made the way ‘to the top’ because they have been hard working and invested…

  • Highheels

    Why leading a few is harder than leading many

    When people think about leadership, very often they envision a large group of people. Getting up the career ladder results in many people in their department – corresponding displayed in the income. But is this the place to learn leadership? From a personal perspective, I learned the most of my leaders when I have been one-on-one with them or in a small group. In these moments I was able to connect to them – and sense what drives them. They shared their heart more openly and I could understand their reasoning and decisions. Yet, they were still my leaders and I was aware of the hierarchy involved. Same is true…

  • Highheels

    You can change the world today

    Here is a true story from the 70s. We are in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge are in charge and rule the country brutally. Within 4 years up to two million people die. In those years, a baby is found by a swiss lady working for the red cross. The baby lays abandoned near the road to die. The forces of the Khmer Rouge are close and the lady decides quickly: she rescures the little baby girl, takes her to Switzerland and finds parents for adoption. Roughly 35 years later, that former baby girl is now a highly educated, healthy woman – with a family of her own. She and her…

  • Highheels

    Why does my boss earn so much money?

    “Whether my boss is there or not – it doesn’t make any difference”, I recently heard someone say. It displays the missing transparency of what is a boss’ job. One thing that is quickly mentioned in this discussion, is the high salary that one gets for being in a management position. And most likely, the person mentioning the money, is the one trying to reach a management position, too. Unluckily, this perception of a boss not doing anything useful to the companies cause, leads to many new managers following that same approach – not realizing of how mistaken they are. So, if you want to become a successful person in…

  • Highheels

    Successful team leads focus on these topics

    It’s a never ending discussion: should you focus on strengths or weaknesses when developing yourself and others? What is your opinion? How do you develop yourself? And in consequence: how do you develop your team? Research shows that 20% of your team will disengage from their work, when you as their manager focus solely on their weaknesses. While only 1% disengage when you focus on their strength (see Strengthsfinder 2.0 from Gallup, 2007, p. IV). There is just one thing that is even worse than focussing on weaknesses or strengths: ignoring your people completely. Research shows that 40% of your staff disengages in their work when not being developed at…